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Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics What's this?

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  • Summary: Adapted from a Somerset Maugham novella, the film is set in a 1938 Florence provincial town struggling to maintain its equilibrium as Mussolini's Fascists are consolidating their power.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. The story has old-fashioned characters and situations, and Haas has sensibly filmed it in an old-fashioned way, stressing visual appeal rather than the story's sordid undertones. The acting is excellent, too.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    75
    Is a chamber romance, in that there's nothing grand or sweeping about it, but it's got all the style it needs to go with those glorious Tuscan settings.
  3. 75
    This whole movie is about manners. There is sex and violence, but the movie is not about giving in to them; it's about carrying on as if they didn't exist.
  4. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    60
    Somewhere around the beginning of Hour Two, the narrative loses momentum, and Pino Donaggio's molasses-thick score begins to drag everything down with it. The ending also lacks the surprise twist that seems to be promised .
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Sragow
    60
    Despite the prestigious talents involved, this is strictly "Minor Piece Theatre."
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    For novelty value, you can do worse than seeing Sean Penn in a rare chance to don evening-wear on screen, but this isn't a sight to sustain a two-hour haul.
  7. 35
    The total lack of sexual chemistry between them doesn't help. Frankly, I'd rather see Scott Thomas play a nun than sit through another one of these turgid romancers.

See all 31 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1

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